Geronimo Stilton, an anthropomorphic mouse who works as a journalist, is the protagonist of a series of books, originally written and published in Italy. The books follow the various adventures that Geronimo gets roped into (being a mild-mannered mouse, he'd much rather stay home, thank you very much). He's often accompanied by his sister Thea, his Cousin Trap, and his favorite nephew Benjamin.Each book is written by Geronimo in the first person, since he is a famouse author and publisher/editor-in-chief of The Rodent's Gazette, the most popular newspaper in New Mouse City.The books have been successful enough to spawn several Spin-Off series:
The Thea Stilton Series. Thea becomes a journalism instructor at Mouseford Academy. While Thea is the title character, the books actually focus on a group of her prize students, "The Thea Sisters". Five girls from around the world, the Sisters become not only Fire-Forged Friends, but a Multinational Team of Amateur Sleuths. This spinoff itself has a graphic novel spinoff, for a somewhat higher reading level.
The Cavemice Series. These prehistoric tales star Geronimo Stiltonoot, editor of Old Mouse City's Stone Gazette, and other Identical Ancestors of the main cast. They live in a Flintstones-like world where dinosaurs (some of which talk) provide transportation, and the threats include frequent natural disasters as well as Tiger Khan and his marauding horde, The Saber-Toothed Squad.
The Spacemice Series. These books are set in a Parallel Universe where Captain Geronimo Stiltonix and the crew of the MouseStar 1 explore the universe and interact with aliens. Expect plenty of Space Opera tropes.
The original book series has been adapted into an animated series as a joint venture by Italy, Canada and other countries; first aired in Italy (Italian) and Canada (English), and shown in several other countries shortly after. As of writing, a 3rd season is in the works. Despite being based on the books, the show is about 98% original material.
Geronimo's literary adventures include examples of:
Cats Are Mean: The titular pirates in Attack of the Bandit Cats and the Saber-Toothed Squad from the Cavemice books.
Chaste Toons: Benjamin is Geronimo's favorite (and only) nephew. A rather extreme example, as Geronimo's only mentioned sister, Thea, is not Benjamin's mother, nor is any mention of her made in any of the books (yet). All this despite there being Loads and Loads of Stiltons.
Cool Car: Get Into Gear, Stilton! has two of them: Solar, a talking, robotic car with Artificial Intelligence, and its evil equivalent Lunar. Geronimo is the only driver Solar will accept, which isn't surprising once it's revealed that Solar's voice and personality are modeled after Thea.
Literary Agent Hypothesis: All the books in the main series are "written by" Geronimo himself. The Cavemice books were written by Geronimo's prehistoric ancestor and translated by present day Geronimo. The Thea Sisters books start with Thea learning about the Sisters' latest adventure, then (supposedly) recounting it.
Nice Mice: Both played straight and averted; almost all the characters, good or bad, are mice.
Not Allowed to Grow Up: You'd think that after all the adventures the gang goes through, they're portrayed as being older.
Plot-Driven Breakdown: In "A Very Merry Christmas," Geronimo accidentally picks up someone else's bag instead of his own. The other person calls her own cellphone and starts to make arrangements for her and Geronimo to meet up and exchange bags, but her phone dies just before she says where to find her.
Scenery Porn: Later books have BEAUTIFUL backgrounds. Most notably is the Fantasy Kingdom books (The third one has a beautiful depiction of New Mouse City in spring)
Sequel Hook: Some books end with Geronimo talking about something that happened after the end, saying "But that's another story, which I'll tell you very soon!". None of these sequels happened yetnote including a Paws Off, Cheddarface! sequel where Geronimo exploits the Identical Stranger for his own needs and one about Geronimo running at the New York Marathon.
A particular case was the Oliver story. It was a short book about one of Benjamin's schoolmates, the titular Oliver, having problems to move around with his wheelchair. With the help of his friends and Geronimo, he gets the mayor of New Mouse City build more entry ramps in the city, and the story ends with a scene from ten years later where an adult Oliver wins at the Special Olympic Games, with Geronimo's "I'll tell you very soon!" speech, and a advertisement promising a full series starring Oliver and dealing with a different disability in each book. Both of these things never got released, sadly.
Thea has one in a few villains, notably Prince Nogouda who repeatedly attempts to force her to marry him.
Bad Boss: Sally to Simon. Even when he performs well, she berates, mistreats and insults him.
Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Just as in the original books. However, as a variation, they do put on the needed footwear once they venture out of civilization.
Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Big Toes, from the S2 episode "The Legend Of Big Toes". Though he's actually no different from the humanoid mice in the show; only much, much taller, hairier, and being speechless.
Broken Pedestal: If someone is introduced as being an old friend or former mentor of Geronimo's, they have a rather disturbing tendency to turn out to be a villain. Poor Geronimo has seen more of his former heroes turn out to be complete bastards than a lot of other protagonists.
Butt Monkey: Trap is more of this than his cousin Geronimo was in the original books.
Simon Squealer is this, too.
Composite Character: Benjamin in the TV series appears to be given the role and personality of his counterpart in the book series and Pinky Pick.
Chekhov's Gun: At the beginning of "The Mask of Rat-Jitsu", Geronimo takes out a vial of a rare, strong-smelling cheese from his safe and inadvertently puts it in his clothes. He finally got to use it during the said episode's climax to knock out the villain of the episode and his mooks.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Geronimo can sometimes be capable of overcoming his clumsiness and apparent cowardice when the chips are really down, and Trap has his moments, too. Most notable of all is Simon Squealer, Minion with an F in Evil extraordinaire, who, while usually a clumsy and incompetent Smug Snake, is shown to possess martial arts skills that make him an even match for Thea!
When she's kidnapped by the titular gangster in "Barry the Moustache", Geronimo and company find a clue when she loses a shoe in the struggle.
Red Herring: Although the show is usually pretty straightforward with who the villain is, there have been a few exceptions where the character everyone suspects is innocent:
One episode had tomb-robbing in Egypt. Everyone suspected it to be the work of a kindly professor's shifty nephew with a Dark and Troubled Past who nobody trusted. It is eventually revealed it was his seemingly benevolent uncle and not him all along.
Another episode had Benjamin and Pandora visiting a cheese factory owned by Chauncey, when someone steals the only sample of a new kind of cheese. When it is learned one of the other kids in the tour is the son of a rival factory owner, everyone suspects him. But it is eventually revealed to be Chauncey's assistant, who wanted revenge on his boss because Chauncey only paid him in cheese.
Geronimo and the gang went on a fashion shoot tour with a pair of hip (and strange) European fashion photographers, and everywhere they went, someone was robbed. Local police arrested Thea for it, and it seems as though the photographers are the real thieves who are just using the shoot as a cover for their crimes, but it eventually turns out to be the shoot's makeup artist, with the photographers entirely innocent and the shoot genuine.
Reused Character Design: The show has a few examples of this, but the most prominent are the two (or three?) large Mooks in black business suits. They're first used as Prince Nogouda's bodyguards, but later turn up in a variety of roles, either as private security (for good guys) or henchmen (for bad guys). Basically any time the episode calls for one or more big, tough-looking mice, these guys get drafted. In their most recent appearances, they've been doing muscle work for Sally. Either the animators are just really lazy... or it really is the same two or three guysworking different jobs each time.